Tongzhi Zhongbao coin

The Qing Dynasty
Diameter: 3.3 cm, weight: 14.8 g  

This coin is a copper prototype, being slightly bigger than coins modeled on it. It is made of top-quality copper with a fine workmanship. It has a clear edge and characters with slender but vigorous strokes. The central square hole is not drilled through, only left a round hole in the middle. On the obverse is a regular-script inscription. On the reverse are two Chinese characters meaning ‘equivalent to ten cash above and below the hole and two Manchu words on the left and right. Made by hand, prototype coins (diao mu) were of the highest value among ancient coins.